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The International Anti-Woke Backlash


This week, Italy prepared to welcome a new prime minister: 45-year-old Giorgia Meloni, leader of the right-wing Brothers of Italy party since 2014. Meloni is a populist conservative on issues ranging from marriage to immigration; she is a nationalist by philosophy and combatively passionate by temperament. A clip of a speech she gave at the World Congress of Families in 2019 has now gone viral with American conservatives; she explained, “Why is the family an enemy? Why is the family so frightening? There is a single answer to all these questions. Because it defines us. Because it is our identity. Because everything that defines us is now an enemy for those who would like us to no longer have an identity and to simply be perfect consumer slaves. And so they attack national identity, they attack religious identity, they attack gender identity, they attack family identity… We will defend God, country and family.”

This speech, according to much of the media, represented an indicator of incipient fascism in the land of Benito Mussolini. Never mind that former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi scoffed at such a notion, calling the “risk of fascism… absolutely fake news.” The Intercept promptly called Meloni the “latest fascist womanhood icon.” Ishaan Tharoor of The Washington Post railed that she’s “set to be her country’s most ultra-nationalist premier since fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.”

Meloni is merely the latest recipient of such treatment internationally. In Sweden, the new government, supported by the right-wing Sweden Democrats, is already being touted as proto-fascist thanks to the origins of the SD. In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been treated as a knockoff of Vladimir Putin, despite the fact that he won his last election with a bare majority of 52.52% of the vote, increasing his vote share from 47.89% in 2018 and 44.87% in 2014. Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the Law and Justice Party, has been treated similarly; so have Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (currently trailing in the polls to socialistic former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva), and former and probable future Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

What, precisely, is the common thread linking these disparate politicians across a wide variety of countries? After all, none of these politicians are remotely like Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping; none of them preside over authoritarian states. In fact, Left-wing politicians have engaged in far more intrusive antidemocratic measures over the past two years, from lockdowns to unilateral centralization of executive power.

The common thread is precisely the themes embraced by Meloni: national pride and rejection of Left-wing social values. The radical anti-traditionalism of the post-modernist Left, combined with the social apathy of centrists, has led to a serious international backlash. That backlash takes the form of a resurgent recognition that basic roles within societies must be protected, and that failure to do so is tantamount to national suicide.

And it is precisely that backlash that many in the media find so disquieting. To them, traditional roles are themselves fascist institutions; those who promote such roles suggest that human happiness can’t be found in atomistic individualism, supplemented by collective social welfare schemes. And so true freedom requires that those like Meloni be fought.

Unfortunately for the Left, anti-traditionalism is the privilege of the frivolous — and after the failure of totalitarian COVID-19 policy, the collapse of green utopianism and the decay of societal solidarity, frivolity is no longer the order of the day. Which means that Meloni and those who agree with her are only the beginning.

Ben Shapiro, 38, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and co-founder of Daily Wire+. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.” To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website.


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1 month ago

Things started being woke when God, prayer, and any religious activity were removed from our schools, court houses, etc. and we let it happen because we didn’t want to offend anyone with the foundations that created our beloved country. Time to push back peacefully on the basics of a free America. God, Family, and Country! Doing what is right is never wrong!

2 months ago

The next bumper sticker will be : STOP ESG ( environmental, social, governance)
That’s todays Dim plan. You see, we are always reactive. Why not take the war to them
rather than just react to their everyday insanity ?

2 months ago

My current bumper sticker states : UN WOKE VOTE 2022

Kevin Sterling
2 months ago

She nailed it in her speech. As a Constitutional conservative I realize to topple our house the foundation needs to be weakened and collapsed. Our foundation is our children. If they can make our children believe that we are wrong in our beliefs, our history is fabrication, dividing and weakening our most powerful strength the family unit.

David Millikan
2 months ago


2 months ago

Indeed, you can’t get less woke than embracing fascism!

1 month ago
Reply to  Nick

Woke is fascism.

Michael J
2 months ago

Since when did family values, decency, rule of law and rebuking junk science turn evil? My answer is when the leftists started their agenda and everything they are accusing the right of. Exposing their evil is the first step to taking back our liberties.
Good for the Italian people!

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